Vail Daily letter: Van Beek for sheriff

I am writing on behalf of James van Beek, who is running for Eagle County sheriff this fall. To be fair, I should note that James is my brother-in-law. However, before I would agree to vote for James, I told him I needed to be convinced — just like any other Eagle County voter. I’ve had an opportunity to hear his views on everything from immigration to marijuana dispensaries and I think he has a very fair and balanced impression of the issues affecting our county. Most importantly, he has stated that his personal views don’t matter when it comes to following county/state/federal laws. I don’t think that a person elected to enforce our county’s laws should be put in office based on party affiliation and James wholly believes that being sheriff is about people, not politics.

James has a remarkable and unique track record in law enforcement. I especially appreciate his work with the U.N. in Kosovo and U.S. State Department in Afghanistan. He has witnessed and participated in various forms of police training all over the world and I think he is in a position to bring “best practices” back to our valley. James speaks several languages fluently and has a love for other cultures that I think will serve him well in our world-renowned resort community.

James has also shown dedication to working with youth locally through the Eagle County Sheriff’s Department when he worked there as an officer and an investigator. I think as our community grows and diversifies, it becomes more and more important to have someone in office who will create public programs that educate kids and keep them out of trouble. James has spoken to this point directly now and prior to running for office in 2010 and understands how hard it can be to fund programs for youth when budgets are being cut everywhere. However, James has begun working with retired law enforcement officers in the area who have agreed to volunteer to help get these programs off the ground and help manage them once they are up and running.

There are so many reasons to check out James van Beek before you vote in November. Regardless of your party affiliation, go to and see what he has to offer our community.

Lisa Isom

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